Art heritage associated with Belarus in the museums of the world

Museums  —  Hermitage (Saint-Petersburg,  Russia)

The State Hermitage (until 1917 - the Imperial Hermitage) is a museum of fine and decorative arts in St. Petersburg. The largest museum in Russia and the second largest art museum in the world. In 2019, the Hermitage received 4,956,524 visitors, making it the eighth most visited art museum in the world.

The history of the museum began with a collection of works of art acquired by the Russian Empress Catherine II. Initially, this collection was housed in a special palace wing - the Hermitage (from the French ermitage - a place of solitude, a cell) - hence the general name of the future museum. In 1852, a public museum was formed from a greatly expanded collection and opened to the public, located in a building specially built for this purpose. In the twentieth century, the museum occupied the entire palace complex.

The main exposition part of the museum is occupied by a complex of buildings located along the embankment of the Neva River, the main of which is considered to be the Winter Palace. In addition to the Winter Palace, the complex of interconnected buildings includes the Reserve House of the Winter Palace, the Small Hermitage, the Big (Old) Hermitage, the New Hermitage and the Hermitage Theater.

The collection of the State Hermitage includes about three million works of art and monuments of world culture, from the Stone Age to our time.

365 halls are open for visiting in the museum. They exhibit the masterpieces of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian and many other great masters of the past. Since 1948, the Hermitage has also presented a collection of works of art from the 19th and 20th centuries: Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso ...

In 1997, thanks to the assistance of the London art dealer Julian Barran, the Hermitage acquired Haim Soutine's Self-Portrait (1920-1921). This is the only work of Soutine in the state museums of Russia.

Material preparation  —  Tatiana Bembel,  18 December 2021.